Britain’s energy system is poised for a rapid expansion of batteries, with 4 gigawatts likely to be operating by 2033, official forecasts show. Renewables will also play a bigger role than forecast, resulting in far fewer gas-fired power stations being built than expected, according to an analysis published by the government this week. No carbon capture and storage plants are likely to be built by 2030, according to the documents, which show the government’s best estimate of the future energy mix if policies are continued. Large-scale battery technology is still in its infancy, with initial projects totalling 200 megawatts being built. New government forecasts project that this will increase to 1GW by 2021, 2GW by 2025, 3GW by 2029 and 4GW by 2033. Last year’s forecast included no battery capacity but the government said that it had “continued to see significant reductions in the cost of batteries”. The government now forecasts 45GW of renewable capacity will be built by 2035, compared with 33GW a year ago. Forecasts for new gas power plants have been reduced by an amount corresponding to the increase in renewables.
Times 17th March 2017 read more »
Local authorities have been told to develop energy storage strategies, so they will not be left behind when this new technology takes off. Speaking today at the Association for Public Sector Excellence’s (APSE) energy conference, APSE associate Ray Noble said the price of energy storage systems will come down “faster than solar” and “every onshore wind and solar farm will have one in the future”. “They [councils] need to put in place the right strategy or work with government to produce the right networks to make certain it happens in their area,” he said. “Local authorities have got to recognise that this is going to happen. They need to be seen to be ahead of the game, and telling people in their area why they are doing this. All waste wagons will be electric. Many of those vehicles only do short differences, which is ideal for electric.” Noble said storage will change the face of the energy market beyond recognition.
Utility Week 16th March 2017 read more »